One of the most malicious pest control problems we have in Pittsburgh is termite infestations. Termites give few signs that they are feeding on your property, and if they go untreated, they can do irreparable damage. We're going to take a look at the damage termites do and why it is unwise to try to protect your property from this damage on your own.
The Nature of Termite Damage
When termites damage your property, they do it from the inside out. Termite workers have a strong aversion to light. This causes them to do damage that is hidden from view. Your home can have millions of termites in it without you knowing it.
Are There Termite Warning Signs?
There are three ways you may see termite before it's too late. Unfortunately, these signs are subtle and easily missed.
Shelter Tubes — Termite workers have thin skins and require a lot of moisture to survive. For this reason, they bring moist soil into their tunnels and use that soil to create tunnels on hard surfaces so they can go from the ground to the wood of your home. It is important to recognize these mud tunnels as a warning sign of termite activity. While this might seem like an easy way to detect termites and protect your Pittsburgh home, worker termites rarely create these tubes where you can see them. Their aversion to the light causes them to create mud tubes in hidden locations, such as foundation walls that are under decks, patios, and porches.
Swarmers — Termite swarmers are white-winged termite reproductives that swarm together as they mate and search for new locations to establish nests. Seeing them on your home can be a warning sign. But termite swarmers don't make it easy for you to detect them. Swarms only last for about 30 minutes. After that, those termites will have found their mate and settled into the ground to create their nests. A swarm can happen in the time it takes you to run to the store and back. If you do happen to see the tiny, white-winged insects crawling on your home, you should be aware that it is rarely a sign of an impending infestation. When two swarmers mate and select a place to live, they do it by themselves. So, a new infestation will be one, or only a few, couples crawling around in your yard—not a large swarm. If you see a large swarm, it is a warning sign of a current and mature infestation. Either way, these signs are subtle and easily missed.
Trenches — If you dig ground up in your backyard, you may stumble onto termites. You may also see termites if you pull up some stumps. If you do, it will look like you've uncovered a large colony of pale ants. It is important that you recognize termite workers when you see them. One key trait to look for is a fat waist. Termites don't have the pinched waist of an ant.
If you have found termites in your Pittsburg home, you may be tempted to use DIY termite treatments. We strongly recommend that you don't. Many of the suggestions on the internet don't work at all and this will leave you exposed to termite damage. Some treatment ideas on the internet work, but they work for drywood termites. Subterranean termites cannot be controlled with topical treatments.
What Is The Best Way To Prevent Termite Damage?
At Witt Pest Management, we use the most advanced termite baiting system available. This system helps our certified termite control specialists easily detect sneaky termites and start to eliminate colonies as soon as workers come to feed on your Pittsburg property. Your home is one of the largest purchases you will ever make. Protect it with termite control you can trust. Reach out to us today to learn more.